“Then I’ll keep on with it for ever,” Shiel replied, and before she could stop him, he had kissed her hand.
HOW HAMAR, CURTIS AND KELSON ENTERED THE ASTRAL PLANE
In order to explain the manner in which Hamar, Kelson and Curtis were initiated into their new properties, I must now go back to the day preceding the gratis performance of the Modern Sorcery Company, that is to say the last day of stage one of the compact.
To Kelson the day had been one of surprises throughout. When he arrived at the building in Cockspur Street (he preferred living alone, and, consequently, rented a handsome suite of rooms in John Street, Mayfair), he was not a little astonished to meet Lilian Rosenberg on the staircase.
“I thank you so much!” she exclaimed, shaking hands with him most effusively. “It is all owing to you I got the post.”
“Then Hamar has engaged you,” Kelson ejaculated.
“Why, yes! didn’t you know!” Lilian said with a smile. “I had a letter from him the very evening of the day I called here.”
“Did you! He never told me anything about it! How do you think you will get on?”
“Oh, splendidly! The work is interesting and full of variety. Moreover, I like the atmosphere of the place, it is so weird. I believe the three of you really are magicians!”
“If that be so,” Kelson said, “then we have only acted in accordance with our character in engaging the services of a witch—a witch who has already bewitched one member of the trio. Now please don’t go to the expense of lunching out: lunch with me instead. Lunch with me every day.”
“It is very kind of you,” Lilian Rosenberg replied, “and I will gladly do so when I am not lunching with Mr. Hamar. But he has invited me to have all my meals with him.”
“That doesn’t mean you are obliged to have them with him every day!” Kelson cried. “Lunch with me this morning.”
“I am very sorry,” Lilian Rosenberg replied, looking at Kelson with mock pleading eyes, “please don’t scold me, but I’ve really promised Mr. Hamar.”
“Have tea with me, then,” Kelson said.
“I’ve promised him that, too.”
“Supper then!” Kelson said, savagely.
“I’m awfully sorry, but I’m engaged all this evening, and practically every evening.”
“With Mr. Hamar?” Kelson asked suspiciously.
“Oh no! my own private business,” Lilian Rosenberg replied. “Do forgive me. I should so like to have been able to accept your invitation. Now I must hurry back to my work,” and she gave him her hand, which Kelson held, and would have gone on holding all the morning, had he not heard Hamar’s well-known tread ascending the stairs.
“Look here!” he said, as they entered his room together, “I want Miss Rosenberg to have luncheon with me one day this week, and she tells me you have already invited her. Let her come with me to-morrow.”